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Praslin's no-development zone being reviewed by Seychelles' authorities

Victoria, Seychelles | December 23, 2016, Friday @ 15:21 in Business » TOURISM | By: Sharon Meriton Jean and Betymie Bonnelame | Views: 5830
Praslin's no-development zone being reviewed by Seychelles' authorities

One of the most romantic settings in the Seychelles, the beach of Anse Lazio on the second largest island of Praslin has been ranked by TripAdvisor users as one of the best beaches in the world. (Romano Laurence, Seychelles News Agency) 

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(Seychelles News Agency) - A new land-use plan for the Anse Lazio beach on Praslin, the second-most populated island of Seychelles, will take into consideration property owners who want to develop their land, said a top official of the Planning Authority.

The Authority met with around 5,000 inhabitants of Praslin about the new plan for the northwest side of the island as part of the review of the no-development zone imposed on Anse Lazio.

The restriction has greatly limited proprietors from developing their land. 

The chief executive of the Seychelles Planning Authority, Joseph Francois, told SNA that, “A land use plan does not mean you will get everything you want. It is a compromise between proprietors and government.”

Francois said that areas of ecological importance such as marshes will continue to be protected as per the laws of Seychelles, an archipelago in the western Indian Ocean.

Cradled by a large bay with two mountain peaks on each side, the half-kilometre-long beach of Anse Lazio was voted as the 6th best beach in the world by the user-reviewed Tripadvisor website last year.

Anse Lazio is considered by many as the nation's most beautiful beach, and it likely is the most photographed (Gerard Larose, Seychelles Tourism Board) 

The review of the land-use plan follows a recent legal case by a proprietor adjacent to the beach seeking an annulment of the restrictions on development in the area.  

The Authority which is part of the Ministry of Habitat, Infrastructure and Land Transport, also held consultation meetings with some of the proprietors of the land that spreads over 2.5 hectares and includes Anse Georgette, another important beach of the island.

“All the proprietors are conscious of the fragility of the area and we, as the authority, want to ensure that this is continued in the future,” said Francois.

Don Talma, one of the proprietors of the beachfront area of Anse Lazio, says this change in government policies should have happened a long time ago.

“For each and every one of the proprietors of land to benefit is satisfactory for me. There should not be any restrictions as the area is large enough for everyone to benefit,” Talma told SNA.

A resident of Praslin, Etienne Cesar told SNA he believes some facilities should be built at the beach such as public toilets and water sports facilities although he agrees that these developments should be done in a controlled manner.

“I have worked there in one of the restaurants, and I think clients should have more choices and a better service,” added Cesar.

In spite of the restrictions on development at Anse Lazio beach, thousands of visitors flock to this side of Praslin which remains a hotspot for snorkelling or simply to laze on powdery white sands or take a dip in crystal clear waters.  

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Tags: Anse Lazio, Seychelles Planning Authority, Praslin

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